There is something inherently transformative about experiencing a different culture. The sights, sounds, tastes, and interactions change us and become a source of inspiration. In February 2020, Stars Design Group CEO/President Bret Schnitker and chief strategy officer (CSO) and Emily Lane were provided that opportunity in El Salvador. As part of an 11 person U.S. delegation, Schnitker and Lane were invited to assess textile and apparel capabilities in San Salvador. The trip was organized by the Commercial Law Development Program (CLDP) and designed to foster relationships and mentorship between Salvadoran companies in the textile and apparel industry and U.S. counterparts.
Throughout the years, I have engaged with a variety of consultants with mixed results. It’s always a challenge to have high expectations in a short interaction with anyone, let alone an individual who is contracted to bring about change or correction to a current issue. Much like a great therapist, time spent understanding the complete landscape, the unique challenges, and overall goals are critical for success. Also akin to therapy, a good consultant will look to focus directly on the points of disfunction to create a path through the trouble areas. The process is not a quick one, and it’s
Living in a world that is being revolutionized by technology, the fashion industry is playing its part with the innovation and evolution of 3D design. This technology has transformed the way designers think about the garments they are creating, and what the apparel industry will look like in a post-covid world. (Image above from Valentin Karabanov [website, Instagram, LinkedIn]). The Evolution of Technology in Design Mái Mini skirt from Hanifa. 3D design is becoming the leading conversation in the fashion industry. With less than 3% of the industry currently utilizing the technology, the benefits are becoming more widely known and
Looking up the word sustainability on Google, it will be defined as “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level.” That can mean a lot of things, but what does it mean when applied to the fashion industry? Is it secondhand shopping, purchasing from brands that are ethical, using vegan leather or recycled materials? What does being sustainable in the fashion world really mean, and what does it mean to you? The importance of sustainability isn’t a new conversation. For years now designers, creators, and other professionals within the industry have been working to shed light on
Denim may not have been invented in the United States, yet jeans and denim-wear have become a distinctly “American” look. It has symbolized the working class, counterculture, and youthfulness for generations. The styling and cut have changed over the years, while the heart and soul of denim has stayed the same. In denim, there is the promise of change and a new world, of protests, rebellion, and antiestablishment, but most of all, the promise of a flattering and well-fitting pair of pants. Fashion from France While fashion has long been associated with the haute shine of Paris, our story begins
Today it’s not enough that a garment feels right or looks good; many want and expect what we wear to do something. Young consumers are surrounded and connected to technology, and a natural extension would be the clothes they wear. The blend of fashion and technology has never been more relevant. Thankfully to service this trend, many companies are looking to fill the niche. Technology enhancements to garments are not new, but the enhancement and quality level has undoubtedly come a long way from basic wicking and UPF protection. Fabric performance is not limited to durability and climate control today,
As human beings, many share similar paths in life: we graduate high school, go to college, land our dream job, get married, and have children. For the most part, these milestones are achievable, depending on where you live in the world and your circumstances. Throughout our life journey, we accumulate things. However, many of us don’t think about where our possessions come from and who, along the manufacturing chain, is involved in the process. From our garments to the food we eat and the coffee or tea we drink, everything we own comes from a multifaceted web of hard workers.
Message Exhaustion Television news reports, social media streams, radio stations, and more inundate us with messages and warnings about COVID-19 and remind us about its ever-changing impact on our lives. While this unrelenting news stream can leave us feeling exhausted with little energy to consume more on the topic, the truth is that we are still experiencing the effects of the pandemic and will for some time. For the apparel sourcing and production industry, we must have an ongoing dialogue about how to keep businesses alive as well as how to plan and support the health of the entire industry
As the effects of COVID-19 ripple throughout every industry imaginable, it can be hard to keep up with the compounding effects and the way clothing trends are shifting. The way we do things is changing, and the way we dress is no exception. People are staying in more, dressing for comfort, and some are living pajamas for days. Others are dressing business casual from only the waist up (showcasing the “mullet” of COVID fashion) for an effortless transition from work to personal in this heyday of Zoom. With clothing industry giants like J.Crew and Neiman Marcus filing Chapter 11, it’s
Throughout my career in the apparel industry, I have been designing and developing fashion lines for clients. Guiding my advice on direction and decisions has been a straightforward phrase: fashion is evolution, not revolution. Today, this phrase rings more accurate than ever, crystalizing the core foundations of success for the fashion industry in our push to a post-COVID world. Lectures, white papers, and webinars from fashion industry sages have presented numerous views on the imminent changes in the apparel and retail landscape. Some businesses have embraced the transition following the path of evolution. In contrast, others have ignored the advice,